Kilkenny manager Brian Cody cited Walter Walsh’s 68th minute goal as the crucial score of today’s All-Ireland semi-final contest. writes Eoghan Cormican.
The All-Ireland champions trailed Waterford by 0-23 to 0-20 when Walsh, set-up by Colin Fennelly, struck for the only goal of the game.
Pauric Mahony returned Waterford in front in second-half stoppages before Conor Fogarty nailed the target in the 73rd minute to force a replay.
“It was a serious game. We were chasing the game and never really got ahead. The first time we weren’t behind was at the final whistle,” said Cody.
“It took a huge effort to stay in touch, to fight it out and to grind it out. As the game went on, it was apparent that we needed a goal to really strike a bit of a blow because whenever we got within a point or two, they picked off some terrific long-range points.
That gave them that breathing space, but we did get the goal, a really good goal. They responded with a point and we got a point then to level it. We almost had another point to win the game. It is a serious game to look forward to again.”
Did he ever think it was gone from Kilkenny? Waterford, when at full stride, were 0-22 to 0-17 clear with a quarter of an hour remaining.
“You could start to feel like that if you wanted, but five points in the game of hurling is very little, really. The goal would make serious inroads into that and it did. The points were coming so fast and furious, from both sides really, so all of a sudden it was back to two points and then back out to three. As the game was nearing completion, a goal was going to be significant. The goal we got was significant.
"Waterford were excellent, really, and they put it up to us in a massive way. We fought it out to the bitter end and we’ll certainly go again the next day.”